Welcome to Heavenly Socks Yarns!

The Heavenly Socks Yarns storefront

Our shop on Lower Main Street

As most of you know, there are many beautiful

As most of you know, there are many beautiful "sock" yarns that just beg to be knit into something other than socks. Here are some that do that: Alpaca Yarn Company's Paca Peds, Knit One Crochet Too's Crock-O-Dye, Cascade Yarns' Hand Painted, and Berroco's Ultra Alpaca Fine.

Sock Yarn Sale and Suitcase Raffle

Win a Regia Suitcase!

This month all sock yarn is on sale at 20% off, plus every time you buy 100g of sock yarn, you'll be entered to win a sock-yarn-patterned carry-on suitcase from Regia. Not only does it have rigid sides and wheels, it has the extra advantage of being uniquely patterned in case you do check your bag. It would be so easy to spot on the luggage carousel amid the hordes of black bags. (Or you can just store your sock yarn in it!)

Helen's current pair of socks in progress, on needles for the past year

Helen's current pair of socks in progress, on needles for the past year

Reflections on Sock Knitting (and Technology) by Helen

I used to knit a pair of socks in a week, every week. Yes, that's a pair on US #1.5 needles, 64 stitches with a 9" cuff. I could knit at that rate while also working full time, volunteering, being a mom, and responding to all the other various commitments and demands of life.

Now life is a little simpler for me in the sense that the children are grown (with no grandchildren yet), volunteering is at a minimum at best, and life doesn't seem to be pulling me in many different directions. Now I should be knitting a at least a pair and a half a week, wouldn't you think?/p>

No, that isn't happening. As a matter of fact, the current pair of socks in progress have been on needles for the past year! Yes, a full year and not yet complete! Why is that? It took me a while to figure it out after abandoning the last pair of socks simply because I convinced myself that I just didn't like a particular type of single-ply sock yarn and that is why I wasn't getting them completed.

I figured it out only about two months ago while waiting at the dentist's office. In those types of situations (the waiting game -- doctor's appointments, restaurants, red traffic lights), I would always reach for my socks to knit. It may only mean a row at a traffic light or an inch in a waiting room, but it was all moving in the right direction: completion. Now, those few minutes are replaced by something else -= the smartphone.

Maybe if I was "online" at home, it would be different. I could check e-mails, Facebook and various other favorite Web pages from home. But I don't even have a phone signal where I live, and so when I get a few minutes in a place that does, it is the smartphone that my hands quickly pick up and not my knitting anymore.

I knit at home whenever I can, after the chores are done. But that knitting is usually more intricate and stimulating for me than socks. Socks were always a utilitarian thing for me -- keeping me patient and calm while mindlessly knitting, with the byproduct being a pair of warm and fun handknit socks! It was a win-win situation. But with a smartphone substitution, I don't win a thing.

And so I have consciously decided not to replace my sock knitting with my phone anymore. I can check all those things -- e-mails, Facebook and Web pages -- when I have a few minutes before the shop opens, or right before I leave work at the end of the day. On my days "off," I'll check it if I walk the 1/2 mile up the street, where I can get a signal. The rest of the time, whenever I have a minute or two to wait, my hands will be knitting socks.

Gradient Swoop scarf

Gradient Swoop scarf

Gradient Swoop Scarf

A fun new item we have in the shop are the Mad Hatter mini-skein packs from Frabjous Fibers in Vermont. We have both color-block and gradient packs. Gradient yarns in particular are very popular right now, with many interesting patterns published on Ravelry.

Since our sample pack had more of a color-block vibe going on, Liz chose the Gradient Swoop pattern, a crescent-shaped garter-stitch scarf that utilizes short rows for shaping.

Short rows are an easy way to invisibly add shaping to a garment. Perhaps somewhat intimidating to novice knitters, they are not difficult to execute, and once you learn the technique, you're unlikely to be intimidated again. This tutorial from Knitting Daily can help explain in more detail than we can here. There are also video tutorials on YouTube. Just search short rows wrap and turn to find them.

The Mad Hatter packs contain five mini-skeins of sport-weight merino, totaling 430 yards, and sell for $32.00.

The shop model is a size 12 months and used exactly one skein of Ultra Pima Paints and one skein of a contrasting color.

The shop model is a size 12 months and used exactly one skein of Ultra Pima Paints and one skein of a contrasting color.

Oriental Lily Dress

Helen decided to knit another version of one of our store models -- the Oriental Lily dress. Liz had knit it as a store model many years ago in worsted-weight (machine-washable) wool yarn. Because Liz was knitting it in wool, she knit it with long sleeves, just as the pattern was written.

Helen was looking for a new little-girl dress to knit up in cotton. In every type of search in Ravelry, the Oriental Lily dress appeared on the screen. After looking at the projects made in that pattern, she decided to make a cotton version of the Oriental Lily pattern with short sleeves in Cascade's Ultra Pima Paints. A 220-yard skein sells for $11.95.

Oriental Lily is a free pattern on Ravelry. It is knit neckdown and it is seamless. It has been rewritten for DK-weight yarn and now is sized from newborn to size 10 years. Helen reports that it is one of the most well-written patterns she has ever used because whenever there is a change in pattern instructions, stitch counts are given. The pattern is long because everything is nicely explained, and we recommend you printing it out because we think you will use it -- and often. (Due to the amount of pages, we will not be printing this pattern out at the shop for customers.)

Knitting Increase/Decrease Calculator

When you get to the part in a pattern that says something like "Increase 7 stitches evenly across the next row," do you spend way too much time trying to figure the math?

Some of us like the challenge, but sometimes a simple task like that brings on a mental block -- albeit momentarily.

Here is a tool that does that calculation for you. It just might be worth a bookmark!

Knit-a-thon organizer Sara Brand-New helps young knitter Brynne add a chevron section to her cape at the November 2014 Knit-a-thon.

Knit-a-thon organizer Sara Brand-New helps young knitter Brynne add a chevron section to her cape at the November 2014 Knit-a-thon.

Knit-a-thon Planned in Belfast

The Women of St. Margaret's will host its bi-annual Community Knit-a-thon on Saturday, March 14, from 8 am-8 pm at the St. Margaret's Church library, 95 Court St. in Belfast. The fun event is open to all as a time for gathering to work on projects. Bring any type of handwork and come enjoy the company and the warmth of a cozy space. All fiber lovers are welcome, including crochet, spin and knit artists. Participants are welcome to join for any or all of the day, and to bring a project, or not. There will be an "Italian cuisine" potluck dinner at 6 pm.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Interfaith Fuel Fund of Waldo County.

For sponsorship forms and more information about the Knit-a-thon, visit Knit the Community or phone Sara Brand-New at 978-325-0045.

Snowball Winter Festival poster

Snowball Winter Festival poster

Snowball Winter Festival

Snowball, Belfast's First Annual Winter Festival, is scheduled for Sunday, March 1 from 1-4 pm at Waterfall Arts and the adjoining Community Ice Rink. Belfast Parks and Recreation Department and Waterfall Arts have joined forces to offer this free, fun wintertime event with snowshoeing, ice skating, contests, sledding on gigantic snow mounds, snow sculpting and snowball art. Hot chocolate and hot dogs will be available while inside the Waterfall Arts building at 256 High St., a treasure-laden flea market will be open to the public, and performances by Belfast Bay Fiddlers will take place at 2 pm and 3 pm.

The event is definitely family-friendly, so keep March 1 open and join in the fun! For more information, phone Parks and Recreation Office at 207-338-3370, Ext. 27 or Waterfall Arts at 207-338-2222, or visit Waterfall Arts.

Belfast artist/author David Estey

Belfast artist/author David Estey

Belfast Artist/Author Estey at Left Bank Lyceum

Left Bank Books is delighted to welcome David Estey, Belfast artist and author of the memoir Whoop and Drive 'er!: Growing Up in Aroostook County, Maine, on Sunday, March 1, from 3 to 4:30 pm. His appearance is part of a series of five Sunday afternoon talks that the bookshop is hosting in this, its seventh annual Winter Lyceum. The talks are a revival of the historic lyceum tradition that was popular throughout the country in the 1800s.

Whoop and Drive 'er! is a memoir of Estey's growing up in Fort Fairfield, Presque Isle and Belfast. The book is alternately affectionate, humorous and poignant. It is also beautifully illustrated with 41 related photos, drawings and paintings that Estey has done over the years.

All of the Lyceum talks are free and informal, and include ample time for questions and discussion (and enjoyment of a light refreshment). Space is limited, however. To reserve a seat, or for more information, phone Left Bank Books at 207-338-9009, or e-mail leftbank@myfairpoint.net. Left Bank Books is located in downtown Belfast at 109 Church St.

Artwork by David Estey

Artwork by David Estey

Senior College Call to Artists

All Maine artists, 50 years of age and older, are invited to participate in the Senior College at Belfast 13th Annual Festival of Art on May 21-24, 2015, at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The registration period for artists is March 1-March 31. Registration materials and information are available from seniorcollegefestivalofart@gmail.com, or you may phone Juliane Dow at 857-719-6733.

Both amateur and professional artists are welcome. Paintings, sculptures, woodcarvings, jewelry, fabric arts, pottery and photography are some examples of the types of art on exhibit.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Let's Talk About It: The Gilded Age

A new Let's Talk About It book discussion series is coming to the Belfast Free Library on March 3-April 21.

The series, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today? has been provided by the Maine Humanities council with books available to borrow from the library. Pre-registration required, call or stop by the main circulation desk, 207-338-3884, Ext. 10.

At the first discussion on Tuesday, March 3, at 6:30 pm, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson will be explored. Then on Tuesday, March 17, The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner will be discussed.

For more information on this or other library events, visit Library Programs.

Stuart Kenney (left), Matthew Kenney (right)

Stuart Kenney (left), Matthew Kenney (right)

JEMS to Sparkle at Belfast Flying Shoes

On Friday, March 6, join Belfast Flying Shoes for an evening of contra dancing at American Legion Post #43, 143 Church St. in Belfast. The evening begins at 6:30 pm with a community dance. The contra dance begins at 8 pm and runs until around 11 pm. This month, Chrissy Fowler will call the dances, with music by JEMS.

Combining the talents of two contradance-circuit favorites and two next-generation stars, JEMS delivers an authentic New England sound with innovative contemporary elements. Whitefield, Maine-based fiddle wizard Ed Howe, a longtime member of the duo Perpetual e-Motion, is renowned for the intensity and nuance of his playing. Bassist, banjo player, teacher and dance host Stuart Kenney, of Greenfield, Mass., is a former 13-year member of the band Wild Asparagus. Multi-instrumental phenom Jamie Oshima, of Whitefield, Maine, and percussionist Matthew Kenney, of Greenfield, Mass., enliven the traditional repertoire with their youthful energy and sparkling musicianship. Sound provided by Ed Howe.

For more information: phone 207-338-0979, e-mail belfastflyingshoes@gmail.com, visit Belfast Flying Shoes or find them on Facebook.

Snow Maiden

Snow Maiden

Open Call for Photography at Waterfall Arts

Waterfall Arts, as part of the Maine Curators' Forum 2015 statewide Maine Photo Project, has dedicated its annual Open Call Show to the photographic image. Photographers of all ages are invited to submit work based on the theme of The Poetry of Maine's Fog, Rain, Snow and Ice.

Drop-off hours are Tuesday through Friday, March 24-27 from 10 am to 5 pm. The exhibit opens April 3 with a reception from 5 to 8 pm and runs through May 15. For more information, visit Maine Photo Project.

For more information on Waterfall Arts, visit Waterfall Arts, phone 207-338-2222 or stop by Waterfall Arts at 256 High St. in Belfast.

An image of Popeye by Rick Baker

An image of Popeye by Rick Baker

Salted Tales: Stories from the Sea Told Live

Sailors, got stories to tell? The Penobscot Marine Museum and The Colonial Theatre in Belfast are teaming up to host Salted Tales: Stories from the Sea Told Live. This event will take place on Sunday, March 29, at 3:30-6:30 pm, and the organizers continue to look for storytellers from the world of the merchant marine, navy, working sailing, or anyone with a really good sea story. The accent is on working sea stories, but yachtsmen are invited as well. Please share this invitation with anyone who may be interested in telling their story.

This event is modeled on Moth Radio Hour: Stories Told Live, which is heard on the Web and public radio. There will be 10 storytellers and they will each get 8 minutes. There's already a great lineup of people who have worked on tankers, tugs, freighters and sailing ships, but more are needed, so please let sailors and people who have made their lives on the sea know about this event. Refreshments and intermission. Co-sponsored by Penobscot Marine Museum. For more information, please phone Mike Hurley at 207-338-1975 or e-mail Mike at mike@pilut.com.

Photo by Doug Johnson of the Belfast Co-op, of the Lexicon of Sustainability exhibit on display in the Co-op Cafe

Photo by Doug Johnson of the Belfast Co-op, of the Lexicon of Sustainability exhibit on display in the Co-op Cafe

March 2015 Belfast Co-op Events

Featured Artist

Exhibit of Lexicon of Sustainability photo collages is on display, in collaboration with Maine Farmland Trust, in the Co-op Cafe through late March.

Round Up for Community Recipients

March 1-15: Cornerspring Montessori School;
March 16-31: Coastal Mountains Land Trust.

Senior Discount Day

Every Tuesday, Belfast Co-op customers 62 years young and up receive a discount upon informing the cashier of their eligibility. Co-op member-owners receive a 10% discount; non-member-owners 5%.

Belfast Community Supported Agriculture and Fisheries Fair

Saturday, March 1, 1-3 pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.: Annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Fishery (CSF) Fair in celebration of local food. Free; all are welcome. Local foods, including sustainably harvested seafood, for sale and sampling. Sponsored by MOFGA and Belfast Co-op. For more information, click CSA/CSF article.

Unique Maine Farms Presentation

Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.: Author and photographer Mary Quinn Doyle will discuss Unique Maine Farms, which highlights 178 Maine farms she visited over two years. Sponsored by the Belfast Free Library and Belfast Co-op. For more information about her work, visit Unique Maine Farms.

Belfast Co-op Monthly Guided Store Tour

Saturday, March 21, 10 am, Belfast Co-op, 123 High St., meet near Co-op entrance: Guided store tours (every third Saturday per month) which highlight the benefits of joining the Co-op and how to take best advantage of shopping there. All are welcome.

Belfast Co-op Annual Meeting

Sunday, March 22, 4-7:30 pm, Waldo County Shrine Club, Northport Ave. (across from City Park): 4-5 pm social hour with live music, appetizers, beer and wine (by donation); 5-6 pm meeting; 6-7:30 pm member-owner dinner (please make your reservation at the front registers and let us know your entree choice, or phone 207-338-2532).

Native Pollinator Presentation

Monday, March 23, 6:30 pm, Belfast Free Library: With Alison Dibble, conservation biologist and pollination ecologist. Native, organic perennial plant sale launch with Rebel Hill Farm. Sponsored by the Belfast Co-op.

Monthly Love LOCAL Day

Friday, March 27, from 11 am-3 pm, 44 North Coffee (Deer Isle) will provide free coffee samples, the lunch special will highlight local ingredients, ALL Maine-made products are 10% off throughout the day.

Musical Art Show Opening

Friday, March 27, 6:30-8 pm, Belfast Co-op Cafe: For artist, musician, farmer and cheesemaker Elsie Gawler of North Branch Farm in Monroe and the Gawler Family Band; refreshments served.

John Bagnulo Presentation

Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.: Free presentation with nutritionist John Bagnulo, MPH, PhD. Sponsored by the Belfast Free Library and Belfast Co-op.

For more information about Belfast Co-op events, please visit Belfast Co-op Store.

Troy, midcoast Maine's friendly UPS man

Troy, midcoast Maine's friendly UPS man

Our Shipping Policy

Even though our Web site is not designed with a shopping cart, we will happily ship anything to you.

At this time, we only ask for the exact cost of the shipping; there is no handling charge.

By the way, the man in the photo is our well-loved UPS deliveryman. He is always smiling and happy, even when hauling heavy boxes down the stairs. (He must be a secret wannabe knitter.)

Yarn customers browsing inside our shop

Inside our shop, with yarn lovers examining a tempting skein.